In the middle of the COVID-19 lockdowns and their wider impact on the world today, it is really hard for marketers to understand where they are placed today and how they should connect with their present and potential customers. They do not know how they can stay connected with their targeted audiences in these challenging times, and small business houses especially face the brunt of the Pandemic as they have limited resources when it comes to promoting and establishing their presence in a fiercely competitive market.
What is the solution?
Research has shown that a majority of consumers are quite open to social media messaging during this time; however, if you are a business owner, you should be aware of the situation in your region to connect with your customer in these testing times.
Brand messaging to customers in the right way
You need to understand you are in the middle of a Pandemic that is here to stay. With new strains and mutations of the virus being discovered by scientists, it is prudent to ensure your business brand survives too.
Instagram has realized the importance of social connectivity amid a Pandemic, and this is why it released several updates and new features in 2020. With the help of Instagram Stories for business, you can boost engagement with your customers.
Instagram tips on how to optimize your stories well
Given below are some great tips to consider when it comes to making the most out of your Instagram Stories during COVID-19-
- Make it simple for users to support your business brand- This is Instagram’s first tip when it comes to business brand promotion. In the Instagram Stories frames, you will find a range of new food ordering and gift card stickers that you can use for your business. You can save all the Instagram Stories you create as Highlights on your social media profiles to optimize their response and reach the targeted audience.
- Inspire and inform – Instagram, in these challenging times, encourages business brands to uplift, inspire and inform. This can be done by sharing stories of positivity and motivation. As a business owner, you can share stories of kindness and human sacrifice. You can also support COVID-19 pandemic safety messages from a trusted source like WHO and show solidarity with healthcare workers and services when battling the Pandemic. You can use the sticker “Stay Home” on Instagram to reinforce the above health messages to your audience.
- Share your business story – You can engage your audience during the Pandemic by sharing your behind-the-scenes business stories on Instagram as to how your company and staff are taking safety measures during the Pandemic, how you intend to address key issues, how you plan to assist your community and suppliers during these testing times etc. Sharing such motivational stories on Instagram will boost your free likes for IG
- Begin a conversation – Instagram recommends that business brands use the question sticker to engage with their customers to find out how they feel now. It also suggests business brands use tools like their Countdown sticker to establish engagement around any digital event they might have scheduled for the future.
- Answer all customers FAQs – Instagram recommends that business brands consider using Instagram Stories to answer the common and frequent questions customers ask them, mostly during this time. This helps in invoking customer credibility for the business brand and helps in clarifying everything that is happening at that time.
- Engaging the community– This is the last piece of advice that Instagram suggests to business brands during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Instagram Stories are the place where people can freely express themselves. Business brands can tap into the above by offering templates and challenges for individuals to re-share in their Stories and later tag all their friends in the post.
If you assess these tips that Instagram has provided, you will find they are great tips. You actually will start thinking about how you can optimize Instagram Stories in your way. If you consider the current trend, you will find that Instagram Stories are rising tremendously. So, they are worth considering for your business as well.
Ideas for creating Instagram Stories
Given below are some creative ideas on Instagram Stories for your business-
- Post-business-relevant content consistently
- Create a series for Instagram Stories every week
- Develop advice and how-to content
- Run business promotions regularly
- Go behind your business scenes
Ways to optimize your Instagram Stories
- Keep your Instagram Stories short and sweet
- Optimize your Instagram bio link
- Integrate IGTV with Instagram Stories
These are simple tips that will work for large and small businesses in the middle of a pandemic. Make sure you post content regularly and ensure you read the comments and feedback of your audience.
You should be quick to reply to the comments as this will boost business credibility and customer engagement. Make sure the Instagram Stories you post are relevant to your business and the current situation to invoke positive emotions and responses.
Instagram Stories are here to stay for a long time
Even Facebook has repeatedly noted that Instagram Stories are now racing ahead on the track to overtake new feeds as its primary social sharing spot. If you look at the younger generation, they are growing up with Instagram Stories, and the latter will evolve with them too in the future. Instagram Stories will be an effective way for everyone to communicate, and this is why it holds a lot of relevance today.
Therefore, it is evident that business brands and marketers online are getting accustomed to this new format from the above. The above tips are, in fact, baby steps towards boosting the presence of Instagram Stories and their process. This helps you to connect better with your present and potential customers to ensure your business establishes its presence and can survive in the COVID-19 Pandemic like everyone else.